When Brad Wiandt joined Madison Electric Products as president in 2008, he was faced with a challenge: how to develop specialty products that catch the eye of suppliers, distributors and end users. In addition to moving away from commodity products, Wiandt needed to shorten the time between idea formation and commercialization in order to make the company a cutting-edge competitor in the electrical industry. Under Wiandt’s leadership, Madison has evolved into a forward-thinking electrical product manufacturer, and innovation has become a key component of the company culture.
The Sparks Innovation Center has been a fundamental initiative to reshaping Madison into an innovative industry leader. The center allows electrical inventors and entrepreneurs to submit product ideas online. These ideas are then evaluated and presented to a group of local contractors who offer feedback as to whether or not these products should be further developed. Wiandt plays a hands-on role in this process from the solicitation of ideas to the final say on which products will come to fruition. This initiative has led to six signature products with even more in the production phase.
Following the Sparks Innovation Center, Wiandt led the launch of the Innovation Express, a van turned into a showcase of Madison’s new products and revolutionary technology. This display on wheels tours throughout the Midwest to train and educate distributors, contractors and electricians on how to improve efficiency and plans to expand to more than 750 potential customers and partners.
Another first under Wiandt’s leadership is the “Innovation Roundtable” at the Electrical League of Ohio’s 2012 Electro Expo. Members of the industry used the opportunity to discuss pressing issues and worked together to find solutions. By spearheading events such as these, Wiandt exhibits passion for collaboration and positions Madison as an industry leader.
As a result of Wiandt’s leadership, Madison’s new product sales have increased 37 percent in 2011, and overall company sales have increased 17 percent. Wiandt’s progressive approach to leadership fosters a community within his workplace where employees are encouraged to learn and succeed. Madison hopes to continue to surpass expectations of customers and industry competitors, making it a revolutionary force in the electrical manufacturing industry.
How to reach: Madison Electric Products, (216) 391-7776, @MEproducts or www.meproducts.net